Guest Posts from Outdoor Mom

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Skiing is like riding a bike!

For advanced skiers, one common concern is how to break away from a skidded turn and dive into something more pure and smooth. To allow for this fine tuning to occur the body needs to developed to maintain angles.

John Pawlak playing in powder with Zai Skis
Most people understand that in order to deal with the forces in a turn you need to lean to the inside. This is called “inclination” and is all about balancing in the turn. You make the same movement when you turn a corner on a bicycle. The faster you go and sharper you turn the more inclination you will need. However, when you make a sharp turn on a bike typically one foot  or pedal is lower than the other! If the inside pedal is low, you will scuff it on the pavement. If the outside pedal is low and the inside is flexed with your knee close to your chest, you will navigate the turn sharper. The same applies to skiing. The inside ski must "crunch" up toward your chest. That simple move will direct the weight /forces in the turn to the outside ski which is where the majority of the forces should build.

So next time you are willing to experiment with a technique..... "Go Ride A Bike." At the completion of a turn, pedal down with the now outside ski (extend it). This subtle move manages dynamic fundamentals. Next try to hook up the new edge sooner in the turn. You want to direct your movement down the hill and into the new turn. When you extend or pedal down your outside leg, don't forget to "pedal up" the other leg. That sequential movement will engage your edges to the snow earlier and give you more carve throughout the turn! 

Give it a try and let me know what you think!


John Pawlak, PSIA-E, USSA, and Director of the Bretton Woods Alpine Club shares a ski tip of the week to help skier's up their game as they swish into the season.